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ARC Home > Faiths and Ecology > Judaism > Jewish beliefs :

What do Jews believe?

At the age of 13, a Jewish boy reads the Torah for the first time and promises to keep God's commandments

One God

Jews believe in one God who is the creator and lord of the universe. They believe God has a special relationship – the covenant – with the Jewish people. If they are faithful to God’s laws he will promise them a perfect world in the future. They look forward to the coming of the Messiah, a great leader from God, who will bring a time of peace, fruitfulness and security to the whole world.

The Torah

The Torah consists of the five books revealed to Moses, also called the Pentateuch, and is the most important part of the Hebrew Bible. It tells the story of creation, the covenant with Abraham and the Exodus from Egypt. It also contains the details of the laws given to Moses.

The Ten Commandments

Strict Jews live according to 603 rules given by God. But the most important rules are the Ten Commandments. Here they are in abbreviated form.

1 You shall have no other gods but me
2 You shall not make for yourself an idol
3 You shall not misuse the name of the Lord
4 Keep the Sabbath holy
5 Honour your father and your mother
6 You shall not murder
7 You shall not commit adultery
8 You shall not steal
9 You shall not give false testimony against your neighbour
10 You shall not covet your neighbour’s house, wife or belongings

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